“THE breeze was hush’d; the modest moon-beam slept
On the green bosom of the treach’rous wave;
The lover Marli wander’d forth alone,
And trembling linger’d near the well-known cave.
A snow-white turban crown’d his brow severe,
Its crescent sparkled like the beamy morn;
A dazzling vest his graceful form array’d,
And gems unnumber’d did his belt adorn.
“”Come, lovely Ora, pure as angels are,
Light as yon clouds that o’er the moon now sail;
And let thy beauteous form like hers appear,
Refulgent, thro’ the dim night’s dusky veil.
Come, gentle as the mild refreshing dew
Upon th’ enamour’d bosom of the rose;
Come thou, and calm my eager thirsty soul,
And like the dew upon my breast repose.
Come, Paradise of sweets! thy fragrant love
Shall steal through ev’ry fibre of my brain;
Thy sight shall seem unto my fever’d sense,
As doth to desart sands the pitying rain.””
He said-when sudden from the cavern dark,
Like a fair sprite soft issuing from the tomb,
An angel form was slowly seen to rise,
And trembling pause, as doubtful of her doom.
“”My Ora’s form!”” the panting youth exclaim’d,
And eager clasp’d her to his love-sick breast;
Wild throbb’d his heart, and from his sparkling eyes
The fire of love shot quick, as Ora prest.
Say, did they rest between each fervent kiss?
Ah! no; but while their flutt’ring sighs unite,
No moisture e’er their glowing lips might cool,
Swiftly dried up by passion’s fierce delight.
How vain to stem their rapture as it flow’d,
Or whisper to their stagg’ring sense, beware!
His eyes inebriate wander’d o’er her charms,
While hers to earth were cast with chastened air.
Lo! from a mountain’s steep and shadowy side,
O’er which obliquely yet the beams were thrown,
The fierce Zampogni, vengeance in his eye,
Shot like a flaming meteor swiftly down.
And now he paus’d, and scowling fell around,
His arm uplifted, and his breath restrain’d,
The flow’rs and herbage wither’d in his gaze,
While he from instant vengeance scarce refrain’d.
Not long on thoughts of horror did he pause-
Bright as the beam that gilds the ev’ning cloud,
His sparkling sabre swift divides the pair,
And seeks in either breast a crimson shroud.
But wrath intemp’rate ne’er can justly aim.-
For deeds of valour as for love renown’d,
The gallant Marli drew his keen-edg’d blade,
And fierce Zampogni bit the dusty ground.
Yet swift he rose, and urg’d the dubious fight;
Such warriors sure before had ne’er engag’d;
While victory alternate promis’d each
The lovely prize for whom the battle rag’d.
She, beauteous maid! like a bright genius stood,
With hands and eyes uplifted to the sky;
While steely sparks commingling with the beam,
Were not more bright than shot from either eye.
But now a thrust with vengeful fury giv’n,
Flush’d in Zampogni’s cheek the hopeful blood;
Mysterious fate directs the flying steel-
Ah, Marli! thou hast ne’er the stroke withstood.
On Ora, see, his dying eyes are cast-
“”Thou art Zampogni’s now,”” he faintly said;
“”Yet, sunshine of my soul-ah! let me gaze
Upon those charms which from before me fade.””
“”Yes, thou art mine,”” the fierce Zampogni cried;
And to the maid advanc’d with frantic air.
“”Rather the Grave’s,”” indignant Ora cried.-
“”Die, traitor! and avenge my love’s despair.””
A dagger, in her vest till now conceal’d,
She buried in the gloomy rival’s breast.
He fell, in death majestic-withering rage
And stern contempt his features still exprest.
“”And thou, Oh, Marli! thou for whom alone
The wretched Ora liv’d-thou yet art mine;
Then thus with reeking steel our vow I bind,
In death as life, oh, Marli! only thine.””
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Based on Keywords: ora, obliquely, engag, commingling, throbb, beamy, inebriate, advanc, moon-beam, intemp, stagg